Figures from Wagestream suggest the hospitality sector has experienced a 77 per cent slowdown in the past month. The pandemic has reduced the number of shifts available to workers in the hospitality industry since late February.
Wagestream, a platform that allows workers to access their pay as it’s earned without impacting employers’ cash flow, has a unique perspective on the industry. It used aggregate data from multiple workforce management systems to compare the number of shifts available to staff on Sunday – two days after the Prime Minister told restaurants and pubs to close – with a month earlier. The analysis shows how the industry has been forced into a radical decline since but is still soldiering on despite now being totally reliant on takeaway meals and doorstep delivery.
Wagestream works with businesses across the leisure, pub, bar and restaurant sector. It is able to see work patterns of 36,000 hospitality sector workers who would typically fill 120,000 shifts each week.
Wagestream has been responding to the Covid-19 outbreak by making its income streaming service free to the NHS and its staff. It has also created a new solution designed for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means it will pay furloughed workers 50 per cent of their accrued ‘furloughed pay’ on demand, to help them bridge the gap until the government is able to distribute funds.
Reimbursements through the CJRS are unlikely to be paid by the HMRC to participating employers for weeks, during which time those businesses will have to cover furloughed workers’ wages. With tens of millions of people nationwide facing mortgage payments, rent and utility bills throughout the month, there is an immediate need to release funds to workers and spare their employers significant cash flow problems.
Wagestream has also responded by introducing a fast-track on-boarding process for new clients, which means any employer can launch the service for its staff in 24 hours, as opposed to three weeks.
Peter Briffett, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream, commented: “The hospitality sector has been hit hard and everything possible needs to be done to help preserve its ability to bounce back when the pandemic loosens its grip on the economy.
“We will continue to do our bit, and we would urge all hospitality businesses to consider using this solution to ease their own cash flow problems and help the sector’s furloughed workers cover their bills and expenses,” he added. “After so much home working, the hospitality sector is one of the industries set for a huge boom when life starts to return to normal. It would be a crying shame if businesses were needlessly lost and unable to benefit when that time comes.”